Tuesday, 9 April 2019

Images from Britpart BXCC round 1

A selection of images from Britpart BXCC round 1 which was held at Walters in South Wales.

Monday, 8 April 2019

Marfell masters the conditions to take BXCC Walters win

The Britpart British Cross Country Championship (BXCC) returned in style last weekend with the opening round at Walters won by Adrian Marfell and Paul Bartleman in their Fouquet-Nissan.

The organisers laid on a very tough course of almost nine miles in length and, after rain most of Friday, it was very slippery as the crews headed out on the opening run.

Justin Birchall and Jonny Koonja set the early pace in their Lofthouse Freelander, they were the only crew to break the 14 minute barrier on the first run. Marfell took the lead after run three as Birchall’s car had electrical issues which resulted in a time around two minutes slower than his first two runs. Mark Jacques and Adam Nicholson held third place after the opening three runs with Andy Degiulio and Paul Foley in fourth in their Milner R5 despite a first run puncture which removed part of the bodywork.

The initial runs proved troublesome for several crews. Jason Rowlands stopped with a broken drivebelt on his Can-Am X3, Ryan Cooke’s Milner LRM-1 had water pump issues and Mike Wilson broke a driveshaft on his Freelander.

With his car restored to full health Birchall was quickest on the remaining three runs of the opening day, reducing Marfell’s lead to 22 seconds. Degiulio was third overnight ahead of Jacques with Richard Wynne-Williams and Matthew Lowe making it three Lofthouse cars in the top five.

The competitors continued to keep Rabbit Recovery busy with a variety of mechanical issues and accidents including Oisin Riley rolling his Polaris and Mike Moran losing an argument with a tree in his Lofthouse Evo.

The crews did another five runs on day two and it was Birchall who was again quickest on the first run of the day, bringing the lead down to 11 seconds. His hopes of victory were dashed on the second run though as a puncture cost around 30 seconds.

Marfell had three punctures during the event but four fastest times on the last four runs helped give him a winning margin of over a minute from Birchall.

“It was a very enjoyable course to drive, the second half was very fast and flowing.” said Marfell. “We had a few problems with punctures, it’s a venue where you need a little bit of luck I think. The event was very well organised and it’s great to see the British championship back on the map, thanks to the That’s Motorsport team for all their hard work.”

Birchall commented: “It’s a good start to the season, we had a great battle with Adrian and hats off to him for the win. We had a couple of electrical problems on the first day but we managed to pull things back on the later runs. We’d hoped to push hard for the win early on day two but the puncture put paid to that. The course was very challenging, a real offroad event, it’s been a fantastic weekend.”

Jacques was promoted to third after Degiulio crashed on run nine but this was only after some late night servicing.

“We were checking the car over after the first day and found a problem with the diff,” said Jacques. “Thanks to Ian Gregg, who lent us his welding gear, we were able to get it sorted after working on it all of Saturday evening. I’m happy with third, we were pushing hard and our run times kept dropping until the last couple of laps when the car had some sort of issue – we’re not sure exactly what yet!”.
A final run puncture dropped Wynne-Williams to fifth so it was Andy Powell and Mason Kershaw who finished fourth in their Caze Peugeot 306.

Richard Keasey took his Rakeway Ridgeway, resplendent in its new eye catching livery, to sixth. With engine problems on their GSR 206, Martin and Aston Cox purchased a Can-Am X3 for the event and, partnered by Josh Thomas, they finished seventh.

In eighth were Phil Ibbotson and Karina James in their BMW M3-engined Metro 6R4, Ibbotson finding that he’s quicker now that he can see where he’s going with his new glasses.

“It’s been a really good event,” commented Ibbotson. “It was a tough course but we had no problems and no punctures, we’ve had a fun weekend.”

Steve Smith and John Griffiths were ninth in their Clio V8 and rounding off the top 10 was Ryan Cooke and Darren Cooke who battled to the finish after several issues with their car.

Outside of the top ten Paul Rowlands finished 11th despite rolling his Polaris in front of the TV cameraman and suffering a broken balljoint.

Chloe Jones travelled straight from competing in the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge to race at the slightly less desert-like Walters Arena and she was rewarded with a class win and 14th overall.

Mike Wilson drove his Freelander in his usual committed manner to finish 20th overall and first in class, his service area resembling a Freelander scrap yard with assorted pieces of broken suspension and transmission.

The championship will resume in June in South West Scotland. For more information please visit crosscountryuk.org. For pictures from the event please visit www.facebook.com/songasportoffroad. Video coverage from the event will be available on www.youtube.com/specialstage.

Thanks to all the sponsors of the BXCC: Britpart, Voxcloud, Staffordshire Signs, Par Homes, OFG Land Rover Specialists, Birchall Foodservice, Nicky Grist Motorsports and Bowler.

Top 10 results:
01. Adrian Marfell/Paul Bartleman (Fouquet-Nissan) 02:29:16
02. Justin Birchall/Jonny Koonja (Lofthouse Freelander) 02:30:25
03. Mark Jacques/Adam Nicholson (Lofthouse LS3) 02:39:03
04. Andy Powell/Mason Kershaw (Caze Peugeot 306) 02:46:17
05. Richard Wynne-Williams/Matthew Lowe (Lofthouse) 02:48:02
06. Richard Keasey/Kevin Arnott (Rakeway Ridgeback) 02:48:39
07. Martin and Aston Cox/Josh Thomas (Can-Am X3) 02:48:56
08. Phil Ibbotson/Karina James (Metro 6R4 Evo) 02:56:05
09. Steve Smith/John Griffiths (JRG Clio V8) 02:59:03
10. Ryan Cooke/Darren Cooke (Milner LRM-1) 03:03:47

Tuesday, 2 April 2019

Britpart BXCC set for season opener in South Wales

The Britpart British Cross Country Championship returns next weekend when the opening round of the season takes place at Walters Arena in South Wales.

The championship, organised by That’s Motorsport Ltd, features six rounds spread across the UK from Bovington on the South coast to Forrest Estate in South West Scotland.

A strong entry has been attracted with a good mix of championship regulars and new competitors. 

Justin Birchall will lead the crews away in his Birchall Food Service and Mancini Jeans-supported Lofthouse Freelander. Numerous tweaks have been made to the car over the winter and the Lofthouse Motorsport team were recently at TEG Sport mapping the engine ahead of a pre-Walters test session. Birchall is one of four drivers in Lofthouse cars with Mark Jacques, Mike Moran and Richard Wynne-Williams bringing their LS3, Evo 9 and BMW-engined examples respectively. 

Returning to the championship after a few years competing elsewhere is Martin Cox who will be sharing his car with son Aston. They enjoyed a successful season last year winning the NORC championship. 

2016 BCC Trophy champion Phill Bayliss of OFG Land Rover Specialists is another driver returning to the championship. Bayliss commented “We’re looking forward to racing in the BXCC this year, it looks like it will be a good season with events at venues like Sweet Lamb and Walters.”

Phil Ibbotson will contest his first full season as a driver since 2013 in his Metro 6R4 Evo. Ibbotson navigated for Andy Powell in 2014 and 2015 and then entered a couple of British rounds as a Clubman in 2016 and 2017. Karina James, who previously competed with Paul Harris, will navigate for Ibbotson.

Chloe Jones will make her British championship debut at Walters alongside navigator Tom Gray. Jones is combining her BXCC driving with navigating in Baja events. “We’ll be using the same car that we raced in the Hill Rally championship last year,” said Jones. “We’re really excited about competing in the British championship for the first time.”

After mixed fortunes in his first British season in 2017 Andy Degiulio is hoping for more luck this year in his Milner R5. “We had a few reliability problems last time we raced in the championship so  I’m aiming for a more successful season this year. I’m looking forward to racing in Scotland as I’ve never been to that venue. As well as the BXCC we’ve been invited to the Goodwood Festival of Speed again so it should be a busy and exciting year.”

The event will start at 10am on Saturday and the crews will have a full day of competition. The action continues on Sunday and the event is expected to finish at around 3pm. For more information on the championship please visit crosscountryuk.org.

Sunday, 31 March 2019

Ibbotson and James in Cross Country return

Phil Ibbotson will compete in the Britpart British Cross Country Championship this season, his first full championship as a driver since 2013.

Ibbotson raced his Wolf Joinery-supported Metro 6R4 Evo in the championship for several years before navigating for Andy Powell in 2014 and 2015. He entered a couple of rounds in the Metro in 2016 and 2017, winning the Clubman class at Ceri in 2016.

In the navigator’s seat will be Karina James who previously navigated for Paul Harris.

“I’m looking forward to racing in the BXCC,” said Ibbotson. “It looks like there will be some good events and it’s great that we’re going back to Sweet Lamb.”

“The car is pretty much the same as it was when I did some events in 2016 and 2017, we’ll be out to enjoy ourselves.”

Wednesday, 13 February 2019

Powell plots BXCC challenge

Andy Powell will give his Gamber Logistics and Suttons (Ross) Limited-supported Caze Peugeot 306 Cosworth its British championship debut this season when he contests the Britpart BXCC.

Powell tested the car last year but the BXCC will be the first time he has used it in a championship. He competed in the British championship in 2017 in a Walker-Adams Revolution and before that he had several seasons in a Simmbughini, with a best finish of second overall in 2015.

"The car is a massive change from what I've been used to," said Powell. "I'm hoping I've got the talent to compete against a good field of drivers. I'm glad the championship is up and running again with new blood and I'm positive that Jon and his team will do a great job. Mason Kershaw will be navigating for me and we're both hoping for a great season."

The entry list for the Britpart BXCC is already over 50% full even though entries have only been open for two days. Any crew wishing to enter can do so via http://crosscountryuk.org/competitors/.

Sunday, 10 February 2019

Bool and Vaughan set for BXCC

Rob Bool and co-driver Victoria Vaughan have announced plans to race in the Britpart British Cross Country Championship this season.

Bool raced in the full British championship for the first time in 2017 in his AT Challenger and he'll be using the same car this year, with support from Rob Bool Plant Hire and Windwhistle 4x4.

"I enjoyed the British championship in 2017 and it's great that the championship is back this year," said Bool. "Victoria and myself are really looking forward to racing in the BXCC."

Entries for the BXCC open at 7pm on Monday 11th February, please visit http://crosscountryuk.org/competitors/ for regs and entry details.

Monday, 4 February 2019

BXCC entry system to go live on 11th February

Entries for the 2019 Britpart British Cross Country Championship will open at 7pm on Monday February 11th.

Regulations for the championship are available to download from http://crosscountry.org/competitors/ and entries can be made via the https://my.thats-motorsport.com website.

The entry system is the same as that used for the Welsh Hill Rally so if your details are in the system you can log-in and check them ready for entering the BXCC.

If you don't already have a log-in you can register on the site ready for next Monday. You will receive an email with a link to your password, log-in and fill in all your details so you get green lights in all parts of the dashboard.

If you're registered and all your details are correct you'll be able to enter the BXCC as soon as entries open. There are a maximum of 40 championship entries available.

Degiulio commits to BXCC campaign in Milner R5

Andy Degiulio has joined the list of drivers who have announced plans to race in the Britpart British Cross Country Championship this year.

Degiulio will be using the same Milner R5 that he used to contest his first British season in 2017, a season of mixed fortunes which was rounded off with a second place finish at the final round.

"I'm planning on entering the BXCC and supporting the new management team," said Degiulio. "The car is currently in the workshop being prepared and I'm hoping to continue the support I've received from Prolinx specialised suspension and Insa Turbo tyres."

"We had a few reliability problems last time we did the British championship so I'm hoping for a more successful season this year. I'm looking forward to racing in Scotland as I've never been to that venue."

"As well as the BXCC we've also been invited back to the Goodwood Festival of Speed so all in all it's going to be a busy and exciting year."

Sunday, 3 February 2019

Jones and Gray plan British championship debut

With regulations for the Britpart British Cross Country Championship now announced there has been a high level of interest from competitors planning to race in it. 

The latest crew to announce their plans are Chloe Jones and Tom Gray who intend to contest the championship in their Muk Junkie and North West Performance-supported QT 88.

Jones contested the Hill Rally Championship in 2018, finishing first in class 7. She also navigated in three Baja events.

"We'll be using the same car that we raced in the hill rallies last season," said Jones. "It will be both mine and Tom's first time competing in the British championship so we're really excited about it, it looks like it'll be a great series of events."

The championship starts in April with the first round taking place at Walters in South Wales.

Saturday, 2 February 2019

Wilson and Letman to bring Disco to BXCC

Cumbrian Michael Wilson will race in the Britpart British Cross Country Championship this season after a successful Hill Rally championship last year. He will once again have Ian Letman in the navigator's seat.

Wilson competed in the 2016 and 2017 championship as part of the Freelander Challenge, taking a Challenge win in the final round at Walters Arena. For 2019 he'll be using a Discovery V8 supported by Lamberts of Lancaster and Gibsons of Kendal.

"We used the Discovery at a snowy NORC round at Wickenby last year at it was pretty entertaining," said Wilson. "My Freelander Challenge car has been sold so we'll be racing in the production class in the Disco."

"We're planning on competing in all the BXCC rounds and also the Welsh and Borders hill rallies. We may possibly use a different vehicle for the hill rallies."

"It's great that the British championship has returned, I'm really looking forward to racing again."

Friday, 1 February 2019

Bayliss and Murfin set for BXCC

Lincolnshire driver Phill Bayliss, of OFG Land Rover Specialists, and navigator Lance Murfin have announced their intention to race in the 2019 Britpart British Cross Country Championship.

Bayliss and Murfin last competed in the BCCC in 2016 when they won the Trophy category. More recently they have competed in the Hill Rally championship.

"We're looking forward to racing in the BXCC this year," said Bayliss. "It looks like it'll be a good season with events at venues like Sweet Lamb and Walters."

"We're hoping to have our new car out but the chances are that we'll be in the old faithful Land Rover 90 for the first round."

Saturday, 26 January 2019

Gregg Motorsport reveal BXCC plans

Gregg Motorsport have revealed that they are planning on contesting the BXCC series this season.

Driver Ian Gregg is intending on bringing out the new DJM RZR and the events will be used to test and shakedown the car.

Gregg is a main dealer for Polaris Sports and Leisure and he has been successfully competing in the Polaris RZR, pictured above, for several years.

Gregg commented: "The new DJM RZR has been designed with a purpose-built chassis for racing in France and European Rallye Raid events. The chassis is fitted with tried and tested Polaris suspension and the car runs the Polaris turbocharged engine also. The BXCC events will give us a great opportunity to test the new car in competition, I'm looking forward to an exciting year!"

Regulations for the BXCC are expected to be announced soon and the championship will start at Walters Arena in South Wales in early April.

Thursday, 24 January 2019

Father and son team plan BXCC campaign

Martin Cox and son Aston are planning an BXCC campaign in 2019 in their GSR 206. Cox senior raced in the BCCC for several years and recently both father and son have competed in the Northern Offroad Club Championship, winning the title last year.

"Our new engine is currently being built but we're hoping it'll be ready for the first BXCC round," said Aston. "We're hoping that the new championship will get the support of competitors across the UK."

"We'll start of the season in the GSR but hopefully our new car will be ready to test at some BXCC events before we race in France at the end of the season."

Wednesday, 23 January 2019

Bumpy and Tomcat ready for BXCC challenge

Warrington duo Mike "Bumpy" Moran and Tony "Tomcat" Coid have announced that they'll be running in the 2019 BXCC.

Their Lofthouse Evo 9 racer is already prepared and recently starred at the Autosport Show on the MRF Tyres stand. The car will be running MRF tyres in the championship.

Bumpy, who is now classed as an "elder" of the offroad world, is looking forward to returning to a national British championship having won the BCCC title twice. He commented "It will be good to be racing again, the car is all set and my zimmer frame has been adapted for offroad use.

Tomcat said: "We are looking forward to racing on these iconic and new stages, we are going to set our stall out for a top 30 finish!"

Tuesday, 22 January 2019

Regs out for Welsh Hill Rally

Regulations for the Welsh Hill Rally have been published, they can be downloaded from   http://thewelshhillrally.com/competitors/

The event will take place from 17th to 19th May at Walters in South Wales. Entries for Hill Rally Championship crews open on 25th February. Regulations for the Hill Rally Championship are available on the same link.